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Posts posted by SiouxRanger

  1. So, does National's Plan leave the CO's uninsured, or leave them with whatever coverage the policies provide by the policies' terms, and the difference to the CO's is whether they:

    1.  make some $ contribution to the Settlement Fund, and thereby be entitled to a release from all liability, or, 

    2.  not make a $ contribution and be left to whatever coverage the policies provide, and retain all liability for claims.

    And, I guess this analysis of #2 is complicated by the Hartford deal which would effectively reduce the coverage that the Hartford policies would provide to the CO's if they don't make a $ contribution.

    Is this closer to what National proposes?


    (I would note that it seems that Hartford has played a very good game.  It negotiated the best deal it could for itself, with the proviso that if Century is able to negotiate an even better deal than Hartford did, Hartford gets the benefit of Century's superior negotiating power/result as Hartford's liability is reduced by some formula.)

  2. So, regarding National insurance policies under which the CO's were allegedly insureds, would that coverage also extend to adult leaders in the unit chartered by that CO?

    Adult Scouter A attends a Troop campout.  An incident of abuse occurs on that campout.  Adult Scouter A has no knowledge of or involvement with the abuse.  Later, a claim (lawsuit)  is filed against National, LC, CO, and Adult Scouter A.

    Is Adult Scouter A afforded insurance coverage to defend and indemnity for any damages under National's policies, or is Adult Scouter A uninsured and on his/her own?

    Has Adult Scouter A ALWAYS been uninsured?

    And then, if National's coverage does insure Adult Scouter A, does National's Plan, vis-a-vis terminating insurance coverage for the CO's, also terminate coverage for Adult Scouter A?


  3. 1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    probably means a change in direction of strategy for the plan?

    I had this vision of Native Americans herding buffalo off a cliff.

    There's a plan?

    So, considering all of today's events, is National closer to its toggle plan?


    I see all of this as a cascade of positions, each a fall-back to other positions in this order:


    1.  Initial plan of little money from National.

    2.-? Maybe a couple of iterations to PLAN 4 with RSA and Hartford.

    3.  Plan 4 without RSA-seems unlikely to pass. (Now we know Hartford deal is OK with the Judge).

    4. Plan 4, like #3 but with CO's agreeing to something via mediation and negotiation.

    5.  Toggle Plan.  (National retreats to only lifeboat on the ship. Everyone else fends for themselves.)

    6.  Chapter 7 conversion.

    7.  All BSA intellectual property acquired by some entity-and where will Scouting be then?


    I keep thinking about that Laurel and Hardy line about a "fine mess."


  4. 11 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Nope. It is first by pure dumb luck.

    A) Madison during the first Congress proposed a document with numerous amendments. What became the the First Amendment was listed fourth.

    B) After Madison’s list got worked over by a committee what became the First Amendment was listed third.

    C) The only reason the third listed amendment became the First was because the other two in front of it were so contentious that they were delayed. The first (House apportionment) never got ratified and the second (congressional pay raises) wasn’t ratified until the 1990s.

    So as I said: the “First” Amendment is only first by dumb luck. It was almost Second and could possibly have been the Third.


    Interesting, Thanks.  I have a volume on the debates over the Constitution, I will check it out.

    Nonetheless, in practice, Freedom of Speech is a cornerstone of why democracy has (sort of) thrived.

  5. 4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    I actually think National would love the COs to be part of the plan.  The problem ... name 1 CO that has ever had to pay a settlement due to a sex abuse case brought against the BSA?  There could be a case or two ... but I haven't found any.  The big cases were paid out by National, LCs and possibly insurance carriers.

    So, I'm sure the COs are saying ... why do we have to pay anything?  The BSA owned the program and process around volunteers and provided liability coverage.  

    I'm sure the TCC/claimants have no desire to let the COs off the hook for $0 in payment.  While they haven't paid (or paid much) in the past, there is nothing stopping future lawsuits against the COs.  Oh, and now that there is no BSA, no LC and limited insurance ... the CO will be there, alone, defending themselves in these lawsuits.  They could lose and lose big.

    This is a very tough spot for the COs.  I'm sure they are looking for BSA to pitch in more $$ to cover them.  They will likely have to pitch in $ as well.  While I believe the BSA would love to include the COs, they also know they have time limitations in negotiations and limited assets they are willing to part with. 

    So ... that is why mediation continues.  Could the LCs pitch in more plus some payment directly from COs to provide coverage?  Is there any other clever solution?

    I really think if there is a solution, the Catholic & Methodist Churches will continue.  They truly believe it is God's work to help youth and scouting.  The only way I see them leave is if the financial impact/risk to their entire work is put at risk for this one program.  If they leave, BSA can provide facility use agreements, but I think the impact would be large and damaging.

    I only have experience with one Catholic Parish CO, and, as an institution, it could care less about the units it sponsors.  Elderly parishioners always smile at scouts when scouts are part of an activity parishioners see, but otherwise have little knowledge of the unit's principal scouting activities. Senior Troop adult leadership in my troop know nothing about National's bankruptcy unless I tell them.  

    Given that a SINGLE ABUSE CASE could create a multi-million dollar liability for a CO, if they continue to sponsor units-they are not paying attention.  And if they listen to their lawyers and risk managers, they won't.

    So, you may well be right.  There is a lot of support for the concept of scouting and happy-faced, good deed doing, scouts.  But reality will be measured by the statistics of the insurance companies-and those statistics will measure the true risk, and then add a percentage for insurer profit.

    To my knowledge, mold coverage for houses and other residential units has all but disappeared.  The risk is too high and the losses per unit are disproportionately large. 

    Not hard to imagine that sex abuse risks will become uninsurable.

    Insurers will tell us what risks are financially controllable.

    And even if a CO has such coverage, National will laugh in its face and yank the coverage in National's NEXT bankruptcy.

    The present is history.  It is tomorrow where the game is always played.

  6. Sadly, these types of considerations now become part of the "routine" of making camp safe, and on our list of things adult volunteers need to be alert to.

    So, my council camp has three separate buildings, two shower houses and the pool house.  All are relatively new, perhaps the last 8 to 10 years.  They are built on the single stall model, single stalls for restroom facilities, and single shower stalls.  Each stall locks from the inside.

    All stalls open to the OUTSIDE.  In full view of anyone present.

    Each building has a central service corridor for mechanicals to service each stall.  Access to that corridor is behind a locked steel set of double doors.  There is NO access to any stall from that corridor, other than the occasional pipe providing water.  All the walls are cinder blocks.

    The stall ceilings are solid.  The walls are very plain. Good lighting in every stall.

    It would not be easy to install a camera in these particular stalls, and that they are virtually identical, anything different from one stall to the other would stand out (hopefully).

    Being on a National Camp Assessment Team, I've toured a number of camps.

    It appears to me that it is the older facilities where cameras could be more easily concealed.  Rustic, weathered, 2 x 4 framed stalls, plywood sides, ceilings open to trusses, bird nests, spider webs, no electric lighting, DARK, etc.  A camera could more easily be placed up in the dark area amongst the trusses, perhaps camouflaged in some fashion.

    And, one shower house I toured had open ceilings to the trusses, but everything was painted white, including the trusses and underside of the roof sheathing.  Even there, a determined abuser could make a small (tiny?) box painted white and attach it to a rafter with a single screw and escape detection.

    My point is that detection of surreptitious camera placement is extremely problematic.

    I have not seen any mention of this issue in my National Camp Assessment Team materials.

    Something to be added to that.


    • Like 1
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  7. 8 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    Right now, the Methodists and Catholics have the leverage, I agree. But the question is how much of it is a bluff?

    I suspect that both churches have solid leverage with little bluff in it.  What organization needs substantial legal liability with little to nothing tangible to show for it?  And when so bit, do you stick around to be bit again?

    And, the churches may well use that leverage to obtain better terms in the bankruptcy, AND THEN, drop out as CO's in the future having determined that National is unable to adequately protect them in the future.   That seems to be the finesse play for the the Methodist and Catholic interests.

    If National believes the Methodists and Catholics will drop out as CO's in the future, then National will likely steam ahead with any path that provides no relief to these CO's and preserves maximum benefits to National.

    However, if National takes that course, it is a Rubicon moment as National may lose substantial membership due to dropped Methodist and Catholic units, and lose a substantial number of free meeting places.  Suitable free meeting space is not easy to obtain.  And, where will units keep their "scout rooms" where all their equipment is close at hand? Are units to be left to figure this out? Hardly a polished program "roll out."

    That National's plan already leaves these CO's exposed, it seems to be a clear indication of National's willingness to "go it alone."

    Or, National may have initially proposed a plan that leaves the CO's completely exposed to scare them into taking any deal that gives them some coverage, though far from what the CO's would prefer.  Sort of the "we'll threaten them into line" approach.

    From all I can determine, National's bankruptcy plan is half-baked, but perhaps intentionally so:

    That "mediation continues," as I've read in a few places, seems to indicate that National intentionally filed a plan that would alarm the many interests hoping to mediate its way to getting the other interests to accept much less than those interests would have been able to command in the absence of a pending bankruptcy.

    In effect, National is saying, "We filed a plan that leaves you out in the cold, and we are willing to concede a little, but, if you don't take what we offer, well, time is short..."

    A way to treat one's friends?

    (Not often that "Texas Hold'em" is played in a Delaware court.)

  8. 16 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

    The Ad Hoc Committees for Roman Catholic Dioceses and the Methodist Churches filed their joint objections to the BSA plans.

    Despite happy talk from the United Methodist FB group about how Methodists remain committed to the BSA, the filing says quite the opposite.


    Does anyone know where in the bankruptcy procedure objections such as these are likely to be argued?  Will they actually be argued orally, or simply considered by the Judge from the pleadings with no oral argument?

    Thank you.

  9. After a long day doing maintenance at my council's only camp, I arrived home to an email from the sister of my best high school friend, advising that he had passed away on Wednesday last.

    He is the scout I described elsewhere as having been abused by a scout leader, but not willing to file a claim.  And abused by Christian Brothers teaching at his high school, AND by the staff at an institution he was sent  to for therapy for the previous abuse.

    It is through him that I see the effects of BSA sexual abuse on the lives of CHILDREN.

    Our high school years of camping in rain, snow, freezing weather, as companions and good friends they must have been seen and welcomed by him as a "return to normal."

    But I had no clue that he had been abused until just a few years ago.  We were in high school together in 1970 or so.

    He had kept his secret even from me for over 40 years.

    Just 2 years ago, or so, he told me that he felt that he was closest to me of anyone.

    So, is it plausible that the abused keep their secrets for decades.  No doubt.

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  10. I confess that I grow weary of discussions of whether all 82,500± claims are valid, or some smaller number or larger number (not counted as a claim was not filed, or a deceased victim, or a prospective claimant who remains silent-for whatever reason.)

    As near as I can tell, all processes are a slave to the Bell Curve.  Shift the Bell Curve left or right, flatten the peak, raise the peak, give it a few bumps, whatever, the Curve retains it primacy as a descriptor of facts. And if not all the facts for every case, certainly the bulk of the facts.

    So, The Bell Curve tells us that some claims are bogus.   5, 50 or 5,000, not clear.  AND, at the other end of the curve, some claims are understated. So much damage was done that the Claimant can't or won't express the full impact of their abuse.

    The BSA appears to want to move all claims around with a bulldozer.

    Claimants prefer a microscope.

    And, so we shall see just how the legal process treats them.

  11. 9 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

    Interesting statement since the National Executive Board is composed of volunteers - most have been or are unit leaders.  

    After my 25 years of active adult scouting, more of less, I do not doubt that the National Board has no control over the BSA.

    My Local Council also has a Board and Executive Committee of that Board, but, I think that all decisions of significance are made by the Council Scout Executive.  The sentiment, "He's the TRAINED PROFESSIONAL, what do we know, being "mere volunteers???"  And so, the professional viewpoint carries the day.

    That National appears to have authorized $850 MILLION in expenditures with no paper trail and apparently no discussion is simply ASTOUNDING.

    What? The BSA has $10 Million dollar a month lawyers, except when spending $850 million

    And so we are back to "The Hunt For Red October."

    "Jack, the Russkies don't take a **** without a plan." Admiral Greer.

  12. Document No. 5971, "Massey Law Firm Claimant's Supplemental Objection..." is a good summary of the complex issues regarding claims and BSA's Plan. (Sorry, but I can't seem to figure out how to copy a link.)

    "All politics is local."

    Same applies to claims.

    Claimant A has a claim against Abuser B, Local Council C, and Chartered Organization D.  Perhaps against Insurer E.

    Claimant A DOES NOT HAVE a claim against the AVERAGE of Abusers, Local Councils, Chartered Organizations, and insurers.

    It is a question of "mapping" the claim to the defendants.

    And, therein is the gorilla.

    As best I can make out, the BSA, in its haste to "exit bankruptcy" quickly, seems to propose lumping all claims into a single category, give all claims an equal vote, hoping to carry the day on approval of its Plan, and exit bankruptcy before it runs out of cash, leaving claimants to battle it out post bankruptcy exit through the settlement/claim evaluation/distribution/battle-with-insurers process.

    The Massey Supplemental Objection essentially argues that not all claims are created equal.  Some are time-barred by statutes of limitation. Some arose in states with state law favorable to claimants, and others in states hostile to claimants. There are a number of other distinctions separating claims into different categories per Massey.

    Claims have differences among them.  Those differences translate into greater or lesser likelihood of recovery and amount of recovery. Yet, BSA proposes all claims have one vote.

    Massey makes the point that a Claimant with a recent claim, not time-barred, in a state with favorable Claimant law, against a wealthy Local Council, and perhaps a wealthy Chartering Organization, should not be treated equally for bankruptcy purposes with a Claimant whose claim has none of those advantages.

    Why would an "advantaged Claimant" willingly subordinate their claim  to the will (vote) of the average Claimant when holding an advantaged legal position?

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  13. 9 minutes ago, vol_scouter said:

    Because that was what was ordered to be released by the court.  The BSA did not release information about others in the Ineligible Volunteer Files (IVF).  There are many in the IVF that had nothing to do with child sexual abuse.

    Would be interesting to see the IVF for those excluded for reasons other than sexual abuse-those excluded for political reasons only.  And why would National be in the business of political purges?

  14. 15 hours ago, MattR said:

    You didn't quote my entire post. In this case you should have.  :) look closely at the small print way at the bottom. I was joking.

    Have a good day!

    Hey, I am OLD. I can hardly see.  My hearing is worse.  On good days, I can hear some, on most can't see much. Maybe due to too much meds, or too little-can't tell if my nurse is stealing mine or feeding me hers.

    Well, just won Bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Trivia Challenge, so, what was it, your concern...you a Scout, perchance? I was a scout once...can you tie a tautline?  I can untie a Gordian knot.  Well, I could  back during the Bronze Age. Didn't need a sword.  Used a laser-wasn't credited for my scientific innovation. 

    Have a good Epoch.


    (I don't like to look stupid. Smile)

    • Haha 1
  15. 18 minutes ago, yknot said:

    I'm not sure what you are saying here, because your tone sounds like you are arguing with me but your words sound like you are mostly agreeing with me.

    I have to agree with @yknot. Seems like @The Latin Scot is agreeing with you.

    I have trouble following the rest of the post of @The Latin Scot.

    The use of the word "chose" or "choose" in a discussion of "being gay" opens a whole level of discussion and debate that likely will never resolve until future Watsons and Cricks explain it to us.

    And, I don't really follow the notion of judging someone by how they seek to define themselves.  Few think of Gacy as a benevolent, community-minded clown.

    Perhaps, "Do as I say, not as I do," becomes, "Judge as I do, not as I say."

    A friend whom I judge to be very astute once said to me, regarding the issue of "choosing" to be gay or not:  "I never sat down and considered my alternatives, and what my orientation would be.  I was hetero and I never thought about it.  Who would make such an evaluation of their life?  'I can be hetero, accepted by virtually everyone and move along smoothly among my family and peers, or 'decide' to be gay, and be ostracized, shunned, ridiculed, live life in the shadows, cut off from family and friends and perhaps be strung up on a fence in Wyoming to die?'

    Hmmm.  Some choice.

    For whatever reason, genetics, chemistry, ???, it seems to me that folks who are gay are born that way and have no "choice" in that matter.  They do have a choice in whether they express their feelings at all, only openly among their good friends, or include their family, or include everyone (without regard to the societal consequences).  Why is "outing" as gay so significant an event?  Is anyone "outed" as hetero?

    In my mind, that raises the question of how should gays conduct themselves?  And THAT, to me, is THE question.  Should a gay person have to live their life to meet MY expectation of their acceptable behavior?

    To paraphrase Lincoln:  I certainly don't intend to live my life to anyone else's expectation, and thereby can't expect them to live their life to mine.

    On the other hand, I am not interested in a person's orientation being the principal projected component of their personality whenever I encounter them or for the duration of the encounter.  It is distracting and impolite.  It is not the time, nor place, and not to an appreciative audience.

    One reason it appears to be genetic, chemical, or ???, to me, is that despite the profound societal ostracization, and concomitant emotional impacts, is that it appears that no manner of either internal or external pressures or influences, agony or grief, changes behavior.  That gay behaviors are elicited among like-minded adults, well, they are adults.

    Child abusers, it seems to me, at least my working hypothesis, are subject to the same genetic, chemical, ???, influences.  What else explains that many are repeat offenders.

    Even after being caught, exposed, punished-lose their jobs, their family, and move on to another locale, they abuse again-and the cycle repeats.  I am not taking the position that they have no ability to control themselves-they do-but they don't.  But whatever drives them, it is powerful and apparently cannot be changed. Subdued temporarily, but ever present.  It resurfaces to ill-effect.

    But, child abusers, their activity is not between consenting adults.  They target and damage innocent and vulnerable children.  I have no doubt that child abuse severely affects the victim life-long.  I have a crushed best friend for whom I just don't know what help to offer.  I flew across the country to spend time with him once I learned, but now he has grown silent.  Push or lay back? I am not sure what will help.

    There does not seem to be any statistically meaningful connection between gays and pedophiles.

    And in a world where statistics, mathematically sound statistics, are practiced, there are surely some, though very few, gays who are pedophiles, but when your faucet is leaking and the flooding Mississippi is headed to your basement, you address the Mississippi first-that's practical statistics.

    So, these are some of my thoughts.  Not set in concrete, but working hypotheses, always subject to reconsideration and reformulation.

    I had a great friend, now passed, who at committee meetings was famous for saying, "Could you please say that again-I WANT to understand you."  He had an uncanny ability to defuse and achieve consensus.

    I have said to many clients, "Most folks are just trying to get through the day."

    And finally, the ultimate arbiter of wisdom, "That which you do to the least of mine, you do to me."

    And few among us have claimed to stand higher than that.

  16. 4 hours ago, MattR said:

    My understanding is that they were supposed to vet the claims they signed.

    This is a particularly devious and brilliant idea.

    The lawyer has the choice of standing by all the claims he/she filed, and perhaps losing a lot of money as claims are ruled to be invalid, OR, to protect his/her income, taking a position, on the (court) record, that a claim filed by him/her is not valid, thereby admitting to incompetence and/or fraud upon the court and subjecting the lawyer to court imposed sanctions), AND, at the same time, taking taking a position on the record AGAINST his/her own client! (Thereby violating ethics rules.)

    Catch 22.

  17. 7 hours ago, ThenNow said:

    Among the “bogus” claims, the insurers are cloaking their position that 50,000+ Gray Staters are equally invalid on their face

    Not having come across much about the basis of the insurers' position, is it more in the nature of:  "that the insurers have a contractual obligation to insure over legally enforceable losses suffered by their insured, and that claims barred by a statute of limitations, not being legally enforceable, are outside the insurers' contractual obligation?"

    If that is the insurers' position, it is not a statement that the abuse never happened, only that the insurers no longer have a contractual obligation to compensate barred claimants.  Frankly, that position would be understandable as surely insurance premiums are determined in part by the applicable statute of limitations to the risk being covered.

    It would not be surprising if claimants with enforceable claims would demand all the insurance coverage for their class, leaving barred claimants some fraction of the remaining.

    There is the argument that if enough barred claimants recover nothing, or disproportionately insignificant small amounts, legislatures may reopen the statutes of limitations in some states, thereby increasing the insurers' contractual liability.  But has the crystal ball been created that can sift and weigh all the variables to put a number to that exposure?


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  18. 4 hours ago, David CO said:

    Many of those people were banned from scouting for non-sexual reasons. 

    For political reasons largely dealing with questioning council finances or council procedures, troublesome volunteers were removed. The BSA process is more akin to Franz Kafka's The Trial, than the protections embodied in the Bill of Rights. Litigation contesting the BSA process seems to favor the BSA. I haven't come across any case where the volunteer managed to obtain a judicial reversal of  BSA's revocation of membership If anyone has a citation, please post it..

    • Like 2
  19. I will make this brief, for informational purposes..

    1.  At the beginning of COVID, c. early 2020, I did a ton of internet research on summer camps.  My rough calculation is that Scouting camps about 10% of all youth attending a summer camp.  Surprise to me.  Now, some of those "camps" are music and sport camps and not in the same class of outdoor summer camping conducted by BSA.

    2. Camp Gold Arrow in California charges $4,225 for two weeks. That is 650% (6.5 times) more than my council's camp charges for a week. That is not to say that Camp Gold Arrow is expensive or a bargain.  It could be either, depending on the quality of program delivered.

    3.  My local camp has dropped from 1,300 campers to 550 campers in the last 4 years and reduced summer camp offerings by a couple of weeks.  It is a large, full-service camp..

    4.   Recruiting summer camp staff has been a huge issue lately as prospective staff can't accept a 5 or 6 week staff salary as they can't also find other summer work to fill in the work week gaps before camp and after camp. So, prospective staff take summer jobs that pay them for a full summer..

    5.  Notwithstanding all the other issues, camps need to recruit staff that are knowledgeable about the merit badges they are to teach, and have teaching skills.  This seems to be a huge challenge.  My council has struggled with this.  It has an INFANT program to engage knowledgeable adults with summer camp staff during staff week to help train them, both in knowledge and teaching skills. We call them 'Wilderness Counselors."

    6.  At an Area level conference, just pre-Covid, a national staffer commented in a session that I attended, that were all the scouts currently registered in the BSA (early Spring, 2020) to attend a week's summer camp, council camps had the capacity to accommodate all of them in just 2 weeks.  "We have a lot of over-capacity."

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  20. It is very hard to believe.  I marvel at how human organizations spouting and touting the highest principals on the public-facing side accept, tolerate and/or practice abhorrent principles.  BSA and the KKK.  The Founding Fathers as slaveholders, John Adams apparently a notable exception. "Janus-faced." The duplicitous nature of human organizations is simply appalling..

    TRUSTWORTHY (Who saw Her last, and where would She now be in our times of trouble?)

    Likely all to protect a paycheck.  How base. (And we now see that in the BSA situation-thousands of educated "commissioned professionals" all complicit in the big cover-up. "'We don't get paid if the stink does not go away quietly-not to mention losing a fat pension."

    Innocent and vulnerable children are sacrificed for a retirement.

    Call me OUTRAGED.

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